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Manchester United vs. Newcastle: Odds, Live Stream, TV Schedule and Preview

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 25, 2019

WATFORD, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 22: David De Gea of Manchester United looks dejected after failing to save a penalty which resulted in the second goal for Watford scored by Troy Deeney of Watford (not pictured) during the Premier League match between Watford FC and Manchester United at Vicarage Road on December 22, 2019 in Watford, United Kingdom. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Manchester United will be looking to bounce back from their most disappointing result of the 2019-20 season on Boxing Day when they host Newcastle United in the Premier League.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer watched his team toil at Watford last time out before they eventually succumbed to a 2-0 defeat. The manager will be hoping for a big response from his players at Old Trafford having been critical of their previous performance.

For Newcastle, the campaign has been a surprisingly prosperous one, with manager Steve Bruce doing a fine job since being appointed in the summer. Following their 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, the Magpies sit ninth in the table, level on points with their opponents on Thursday.

A tight encounter is in store at the Theatre of Dreams. Here are the key details for the fixture.

      

Odds

Manchester United win (20/57)

Draw (8/1)

Newcastle win (Evens)

Odds courtesy of Caesars

    

Date: Thursday, December 26

Time: 5:30 p.m. (GMT), 12:30 p.m. (ET)

TV Info: NBC Sports (U.S.)

Live Stream: NBC Sports app (U.S.), Amazon Prime (UK)

     

Preview

Whenever it appears United have turned a corner and are ready to kick on under the tutelage of Solskjaer, they are prone to slipping up.

Following a frustrating 1-1 home draw to Everton in their previous outing, the Red Devils slumped to even lower standards at Watford. Not only did they fail to click into gear in attack, United were ropey in defence, with mistakes from David De Gea and Aaron Wan-Bissaka proving costly:

Per Squawka Football, errors from De Gea have become increasingly commonplace since the start of the previous campaign:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Since the start of the 2018/19 Premier League season, no player has made more errors leading to goals (6) than David de Gea. 😳 https://t.co/OMKXfcAX0V

Stylistically, it's clear United have big problems when it comes to breaking down opposition teams who are happy to maintain a compact shape.

Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Daniel James are all devastating when they have room to surge into with the ball. However, with players ahead of them, they're not as effective, while United's regular midfield duo of Fred and Scott McTominay lack the guile needed to unpick organised sides.

With that in mind, it's not a shock that United have picked up their best results against teams willing to be more expansive:

ESPN FC @ESPNFC

Some of Man United's league results this season: Won vs. Chelsea 4-0 Won vs. Leicester 1-0 Won vs. Man City 2-1 Won vs. Tottenham 2-1 Lost vs. West Ham 2-0 Lost vs. Newcastle 1-0 Lost vs. Bournemouth 1-0 Lost vs. Watford 2-0 https://t.co/18xkDr53w6

Solskjaer will be hopeful the return to fitness of Paul Pogba can help the team rediscover a thrust, with the France international impressing when he was brought on against Watford.

Simon Stone of BBC Sport commented on the positive influence he had on United's play:

Simon Stone @sistoney67

Man Utd have had three good chances since Pogba has been on compared to zero without. Just underlines creative deficiency. Has to be addressed for club to move forward. 8th at Christmas lowest since 1989.

The Red Devils will need some inspiration to break down Newcastle's defence, with Bruce getting the team organised since his arrival in the summer.

Newcastle have won three of their last four games, and in the previous clash, their big-name January acquisition Miguel Almiron finally broke his duck for the club with the winner against Palace. 

Per Match of the Day, the goal was a long time coming for the Paraguayan:

Match of the Day @BBCMOTD

After: 27 appearances 2190 minutes 46 shots Miguel Almiron has his first Premier League goal! 👏 #MOTD #NUFC https://t.co/GzV6Ivba7g

If Almiron takes confidence from that strike, then he can be a big asset at Old Trafford, with Newcastle set to do a lot of counter-attacking in the game. Without the injured Allan Saint-Maximin, the midfielder will provide the main outlet for Newcastle in their attempts to move forward.

United will surely be stinging after their Watford loss, though, and they will operate with more intensity in front of their own supporters. With Pogba back in shape and providing an extra edge in midfield, they will get over the line.

Prediction: Manchester United 1-0 Newcastle United